The 2021 edition of the Restaurant Readiness Index, a PYMNTS and Paytronix collaboration, surveyed over 500 managers of quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and full-service restaurants from across the U.S. in Q2 2021 to discern the evolution of mobile order-ahead (MOA) trends, as part of a larger ongoing 25,000-consumer survey undertaken in Q3 2020.
This excerpt focuses on digital features that restaurants of different types are incorporating, and the impact feature sets are having on consumer preference, order size, revenue and more.
At a certain level it’s obvious what digital features diners want from restaurants. That’s especially so when researchers ask what really energizes consumer loyalty and spending.
“The one ordering feature that would inspire more restaurant customers to increase their spend than the ability to order online is loyalty and rewards,” per the Index, noting that 16 percent of all restaurant customers “would be willing to boost their restaurant spending for loyalty programs over any other feature, the highest share. In comparison, 13 percent and 7.4 percent of restaurant customers say that the ability to order online and to pay online, respectively, would convince them to spend more on their food orders.”
While loyalty and rewards are standard issue on the restaurant game of 2021, there’s more to it as researchers learned by analyzing data around how top performers got to the top.
According to the 2021 edition of the Restaurant Readiness Index, “Top performers were able to boost their overall innovation readiness by not only keeping their loyalty programs but also expanding their digital ordering capabilities — especially in mobile app payments. Top performers are 4.5 percent more likely to offer digital ordering capabilities than they were in 2020, and they are 7.1 percent more likely to offer mobile app-enabled ordering options than they were last year. The combination of these factors helped top performers earn an overall Index score of 83.1 in 2021, up from 80.1 in 2020.”
A clear takeaway from the new findings is that “restaurants must invest in other features that can help strengthen their relationships with their customers to gain a competitive edge” as loyalty, rewards and mobile order-ahead become more ubiquitous.